Teams look for momentum after Mississippi finishes

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Southeast Missouri State University's track and field teams will attempt to build on last weekend's strong performances by competing in an even tougher meet this week.

On Saturday, Southeast's women finished first in the Mississippi State Invitational while the men placed second.

Beginning today, Southeast's squads will participate in the Kansas Relays in Lawrence, Kan. There are 79 schools with entries and a group of world-class, unattached athletes who will compete in the three-day event.

Top team entries, in addition to Southeast, include Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Wichita State, Southwest Missouri and Eastern Illinois.

"I think we're ready to have some great performances if the weather cooperates," Southeast coach Joey Haines said. "We had some outstanding performances at Mississippi State and I think we should do even better this week."

At the Kansas Relays, teams must submit entries, and then only the top individuals are selected to participate.

Events open today

Competition begins today when Brooke Woodruff will compete in the women's 800-meters and Jared Tanz will compete in the men's 800. Chad Sierman will be in the 3,000 steeplechase.

Woodruff is nearing the NCAA regional qualifying standard of 2:10.30. She has timed 2:11.41.

Other Southeast entries for the women include Heather Jenkins, who has qualified for the NCAA regional in the shot put and discus; Courtney Haman in the high jump and javelin; Meleisa Greene in the long jump; Megan Youse and Nichole Portell in the shot put; Rose Fulton and Natasha Fortenberry in the 100; Hannah Stuckenschneider in the 400; Laura VanHoevelaak in the 400 hurdles; and Lyndsey Stevenson in the 100 hurdles.

"We think we can challenge for relay titles in the 800, 400 and 1,600," Haines said. "Our priority will be to qualify the 400 team for the NCAA regional."

The 400 and 800 teams will include Fulton, Fortenberry, Greene and LaQuita Andrews. The 1,600 squad that has already qualified for the NCAA regional will feature Stuckenschneider, Andrews, Woodruff and VanHoevelaak.

Southeast's men will be led by shot put and discus throwers Brandon Myer and Jay Heddell. Myer is an NCAA regional qualifier in both the shot put and discus while Heddell has qualified in the shot put.

Heddell suffered a cut hand last week, which has slowed him down, but Haines said he will have the stitches taken out Friday and should be ready to go.

Shelton Scott will go up against five world class unattached athletes in the triple jump. He has already qualified for the NCAA regional.

Also for the Indians, David Herman will participate in the high hurdles.

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